Join the NUFC Trust

The Trust exists to provide a way for the fans to get their voices heard by Newcastle United FC. We’re not a protest group, we want to develop formal links between supporters and the Club and to be a positive influence on supporter issues.

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Notice of Annual General Meeting

Newcastle United Supporters Society Limited
Registration Number: 30721R

When:
6.00pm, 30th January 2019

Where:
The Lit and Phil Society, 23 Westgate Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 1SE

Trust board members:
Chairman; Peter Fanning, Norman Watson, Alex Hurst, Simon Campbell, Michael Carling, Anthony Armstrong, Mal McLean, Paul Brown-King, Colin Whittle, Chris Johnson.

Agenda:
Apologies
Chair’s report
Treasurer’s report
Re-appointment of Auditors
Amendments to Rules
Any other business

The Annual General Meeting is open to all shareholding members* of the Newcastle United Supporters Society Limited (trading as Newcastle United Supporters Trust).

Proof of identity is provided prior to entrance.

*Must be aged 16 or over, and a paid up to date member.

NUST Board

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NATIONAL FANS FOODBANK CONFERENCE

Following the first annual Fans Supporting Foodbanks conference arranged by the Football Supporters Federation in Newcastle last year, it was the turn of Merseyside based Supporter Foodbanks, a combination of Everton’s Blue Union and Liverpool’s Spirit of Shankly, to host this year’s conference in the grand setting of St George’s Hall, Liverpool. Given our involvement in NUFC Fans Foodbanks NUST representative Colin Whittle attended the event with Bill Corcoran.

Hosted by Ian Byrne from Spirit of Shankly and Dave Kelly from Blue Union the day began with a passionate introduction from Liverpool Councillor Jane Corbett who we knew from her visit to last year’s conference in Newcastle. She was followed by a number of speakers talking about local initiatives being supported by fans and the background behind those initiatives. It was clear from the many passionate speeches made that there has been a ‘major buy in’ from the local community –supporters working together for the benefit of their communities.

Liverpool Chief Executive Peter Moore and former player Jamie Carragher both spoke well-it was pleasing to see a high profile ex player have a part to play- as did Red Neighbours representative Forbes Duff and Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson and Chester MP Chris Matheson. Donna Scully from Solicitors Carpenters also spoke about her own firm’s involvement.

The afternoon session involved fan representatives speaking about fan initiatives at their own clubs. Contributions from Celtic, Huddersfield, Merseyside, Sunderland and our own Bill Corcoran, speaking with his usual passion about NUFC Fans Foodbank, were just some of the contributions to the afternoon session.

A well organised conference-our hosts continue to be a source of inspiration no doubt about that, and a lot to learn about other fan group’s initiatives, it’s just a shame that Foodbanks are necessary in this day and age.

What the conference demonstrated more than anything was the power of football fans working together and the overall power for good we can bring to our local communities. An undoubted positive force after years of unjust criticism in certain quarters.

To finish the day off and as a gesture of thanks NUFC Fans Foodbank contributed to our hosts a framed Fans Foodbank poster signed by Rafa.

There was plenty of time to reflect on what had been a thoughtful and inspirational day during the train journey back home, but speaking from the NUST perspective we’d like to thank every single person who has contributed in any way to our own NUFC Fans Foodbank……magnificent support for those in need within our own community.

NUST

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TF Forum: Watch Now

NUST were delighted to be able to contrbute to the recent TF forum.Listen to representatives from Spirit of Shankly and Sons of Struth, as well as author David Conn. and local journalists talk about the situation at Newcastle United.

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TF Forum: How to take the fight to Mike Ashley

The third TF Forum took place at Tyneside Irish Centre on Thursday 11th October and NUST were glad to contribute to what was a fascinating night, supplying both a compère (Colin Whittle) and a panel member (Norman Watson). All in aid of a very worthy cause ,the NUFC fans food bank.

The night began by TF’s Alex Hurst introducing NUFC Fans food bank champion Bill Corcoran, who explained the role of the food bank and the contribution from NUFC fans to this great cause. The Magpie Group Chair Wallace Wilson and member Adam Widdrington then followed with a short explanation about their contribution to their own campaign so far.

The main event then followed, with the first panel comprising of local based journos George Caulkin of the Times and Luke Edwards of the Telegraph responding to questions about the current situation at NUFC, their thoughts on the state of the club, Rafa’s own position and future, as well as a number of other NUFC related matters.

After a short break to announce the raffle prize winners and to allow the appreciative audience time to refill, the second panel convened, and consisted of award winning journalist David Conn, representatives from Liverpool’s Spirit of Shankly , Jay MacKenna , and Rangers Sons of Struth, Craig Houston as well as former NUST Chair Norman Watson and TMG’s Wallace Wilson.

Both Jay and Craig spoke at length about struggles with their owners and the action they had taken, whilst David Conn spoke about the wider issue of football governance in the game. Both Norman and Wallace brought a local slant to the proceedings. The audience appeared to be both captivated by the stories they were hearing and inspired to hear the stories of fellow football fans in their struggle against poor owners.

We would urge fans to listen to the whole evening which is available on a Podcast via True Faith NUFC Podcast, donations to go to NUFC Fans food bank.

All in all, a great night with more than £2k raised to support NUFC Fans food bank. Thanks to all who gave up their time to take part.

NUST

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Magpie Group: Second Open Meeting

The second open meeting organised by The Magpie Group took place at the Labour Club last night before a packed audience who listened to local MP’s Chi Onwurah, Ian Mearns and FSF CEO Kevin Miles.

The trio of speakers, all NUFC fans, spoke passionately about Newcastle United, their love for the club clearly demonstrated to an appreciative audience.

The evening began by Chi outlining the work behind her petition presented In Parliament about the ownership of NUFC which caused so much concern in the Ashley camp which led him to formally respond. She went on to explain how she now intended to ‘follow the money’, citing in particular the deal regarding the land at Gallowgate Car Park on Strawberry Place.

Life Long fan Ian Mearns, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Football Supporters, then followed, highlighting his travels following NUFC over the years and explaining his role as Chair and its purpose which is to protect the interest of football fans. He spoke passionately of his desire to see fans come together to protect the future of NUFC.

Ian was followed by Kevin Miles from FSF who briefed the audience on the role of the FSF and the work they have done over the years to help football fans up and down the country offering the help of the FSF to fans. As longstanding members of the FSF we can vouch for the excellent work they have done over the years.

It was then over to the floor with a wide range of questions /suggestions and opinions from a packed audience which covered a number of areas. The audience were encouraged to provide their feedback on the most popular suggestions made by fans following literally 100’s of suggestions made from fans.

Word reached fans in attendance that Mr Ashley was in town …well slightly out of town….and a contingent of fans including members from NUST headed up to Ponteland to register disapproval with the owner and to display Ashley Out/Sports Redirect banners. The night ended with the owner giving the V’s to fans….what more can you say!

NUST

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True Faith Live 3: How To Take The Fight To Ashley

True Faith have announced their latest “True Faith Live” event which will be held at the Tyneside Irish Centre on Thursday 11/Oct/2018 with all proceeds from the night going to support the NUFC Fans Foodbank.

The previous events in September 2017 and February 2018 were very well organised, sold-out and a worthwhile night of debate and discussion about our beloved Newcastle United.

Our very own Colin Whittle will be attending as a speaker alongside lots of other noteworth NUFC writers.

For further information and to purchase a ticket, please click here.


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Sports Direct AGM 2018

I don’t spend a lot of time at AGMs; in fact, the Sports Direct version held in a partly finished floor space at Academy House today was my first. I could be wrong, but I’m fairly certain they usually last more than 15 minutes for large scale businesses such as this.

However, after the cursory/derisory amount of time allocated to the meeting, and Ashley’s appearance after saying he was too busy, the most striking aspect of the non-event was the complete absence of a Q&A session involving shareholders in the audience (not to mention the sprinkling of Mags in attendance) questioning the board of directors.

The ‘meeting’ was chaired by Keith Hellawell, who has previously relied on Ashley’s intervention as Chief Executive and majority shareholder to retain his position as Chairman following shareholder unrest. After Hellawell confirmed his and non-executive director Simon Bentley’s resignations, he covered some admin points before giving some guidance on the polling card, which contained the 18 Resolutions that were to be voted upon. Questions were invited from shareholders/proxies, but specifically regarding the 18 Resolutions only. When there were no takers, the board hastily relocated to a nearby meeting room, one making a glib comment about getting to the pub early.

With people unclear whether the meeting was over or briefly adjourned, the room started to empty. There was no ‘any other business’ or opportunity for an open forum Q&A session. As far as I could see, there wasn’t even a printed agenda, only a few rows of plastic seats on a bare concrete floor. I asked both a reporter and a shareholder whether I was wrong to expect a Q&A, and both confirmed that it is normal practice to include this in an AGM.

While Q&A sessions are not a compulsory element of any AGM, they are seen as an ideal opportunity to engage with shareholders and let them have their say. Indeed the ICSA (Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators), who ‘champion good governance practices’, identify the Q&A as one of the main reasons shareholders attend an AGM. It is also seen as an opportunity for good ‘PR’ in front of the media.

Given the current climate of shareholder unrest, including advisory groups advocating voting against Ashley and Hellawell, this should have given the board some much needed face time with their investors. It raises further questions about the corporate governance of Sports Direct, which is at the top of the list of current shareholder concerns, along with a falling share price, the reported £5million payment to his daughter’s boyfriend, and the House of Fraser buyout.

There were no presentations, speeches or any sort of board-shareholder engagement that (according to my research) are common practice in corporate AGMs; Ashley remained silent, with a decidedly uncomfortable look on his face. On reflection, the whole meeting came across as scripted and stage-managed, an approach with which all NUFC fans are all too familiar.

Is this just another example of ‘typical Ashley’? He is either gambling on shareholder loyalty, as he does with ours, or it is another display of outright arrogance and contempt; in my opinion, it is a mixture of both. To quote a recent headline from the national press: “The investors aren’t happy. But Mike Ashley doesn’t have to care.”   

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Who are we?

The Newcastle United Supporters Trust is not a protest group, but a positive force for change.

We seek to benefit our football club and its supporters by channeling the passion of its loyal supporters into a forward-thinking non-profit organisation that is a legally constituted, democratic, not-for-profit Supporters Trust.

The Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) seeks to benefit both the Football Club and its supporters by channeling the passion of Newcastle supporters into a forward-thinking organisation that is a legally constituted, democratic, not-for-profit Supporters Trust of Newcastle United.

Contact Us

PO Box 621

Newcastle Upon Tyne

NE5 9AD

info@nufctrust.co.uk

@nufctrust

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